49 Lower Dominick Street,
Galway City, Ireland
Phone: (+353) 91 895926
There is a new fish in town. Literally.
We have been to Creole a few times now and while this will read more as a favorable review than not, there are a few things that need a bit of tweaking so lets start with the fish.
Creole serves corn battered (deep fried) Louisiana catfish on their menu. The cornmeal should be the coarse ground kind for this to be a bit more authentic. The Chef (my Chef that is) reckoned there was no cornmeal present, just a regular flour batter, but the manager assured us there was, so we are assuming they are using a very fine cornmeal for the batter. We, because we have eaten a lot of bottom-feeding (American) river catfish in our day, know our Catfish.
The Chef LOVED the fish he ordered, but questioned whether or not it actually was (as stated on the menu) ‘Louisiana catfish’? No way, no how. It looked like a nice firm piece of cod, bright, white thick and tasty not dull and grey like river catfish really is. Upon further investigation it was revealed that Creole is serving up Icelandic (Atlantic) farmed Catfish. This is all well and good, and as I stated, the Chef LOVED his fish dish, but folks, this ain’t ‘catfish’. Here is a photo of real river-bottomfeeder Catfish and here is what Creole are serving. See? A different fish altogether.
Sure – as along as it tastes good then no worries, unless you are expecting one thing and get another, right? Because then you start to question the rest of the menu options.
The first time we ate there (right after it opened) I had ordered the steak and because it was so good the first time around, I ordered the steak again. It was just as fabulous and cooked to perfection. A safe choice if you are going to Creole.
Seeing as the ‘picture tells the story’ I have to mention the corn.
Meh … this needs to go. It was boiled to death and tasted (and looked) a bit like animal feed corn. Trust me, I would know.
One of our dining companions had ordered the Mississippi Shrimp Skewers. They looked delicious and I have it on good authority that they were. They came on a bed of dirty rice, which I tasted. The rice ain’t dirty. It is spiced up a bit with (possibly) cayenne pepper and a few onions, corn kernels and tomato thrown in. Real authentic dirty rice gets its name from cooking rice with Chicken livers and the holy trinity (green bell peppers, celery & onion). I would rename the rice to just plain ole ‘Cajun rice’ and have at it guys, because it was delicious!
As you can see from the photo the dish was presented nicely and there was plenty of it. Another great menu choice if you are going to Creole.
Overall, the service was excellent. The manager kept hovering around the tables helping clear when necessary and ensuring the customers were well looked after. The beer list is somewhat limited (as is the wine list) and it would be lovely to see a few of the Abita beers listed (hint hint) but we made do with the fine selection of Irish beers offered.
Closer to the end of our meal we got a little surprise from the kitchen. It was a sample of fried Okra. Coincidentally, we had submitted a recipe for our weekly column in The Sunday Times (not to be confused with The Irish Times ) for the same week as our visit there. Their Okra dish was good – but a little undercooked.
And here is the thing with Okra. It is a hard sell to begin with because it can get a bit gelatinous or gummy if not prepared correctly. I took one bite of mine and the whole piece of okra flew out of its perfect corneal crust and landed plop-on-my-plate. It might have been a bit undercooked. Best way to serve it is cut up into nice bite sized pieces like in the photo below. Not as messy for the diners.
Not being a dessert gal myself, I can’t really comment too much on the latter part of the meal only to say that the other diners were not impressed with the selections offered and would ‘skip dessert’ next time around. I think that the folks at Creole should start buying in a few excellent cakes from one of the many fine patisseries around Galway. The Keylime cheesecake below was alright but I question where they are sourcing the key lime juice from as it is virtually impossible to find around these parts. That being said … the portions (starters and main courses) are astronomically big. I just cannot imagine there would be much room left for anyone to even attempt a dessert.
So. There you have it. You can now go forth and make your own informed decision as to whether or not you might chance supper at Creole. If summer ever surfaces in Galway, why not pop down there and check out their new and lovely beer garden?
The Chef & I and our dining companions all had a great night out. There is a serious bang for your buck at Creole with all the extras they pile on your plate alongside the main course items. We are anxious to get back and try the Jambalaya and the Gumbo, two of our favorite Cajun dishes, but are just waiting for the cooler weather to roll in. (If you live in Galway you will find this extremely funny!).
Those are all the WiseWords I have for today,
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I am a native Galway girl that seems to be drawn to professions that rhyme with 'err'. Writer, Mother, Restauranteur, Wedding Planner, Dishwasher, Grass cutter, Cocktail maker. I suppose you could say I am a well rounded entrepreneur.
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